News & Events
- O'pal Water Sports Experience
- A sports facility located on the shores of the lake at Ogoto. Here you can enjoy a wide range of lake-based marine sports, under the skilled and watchful eye of an instructor.
[Use by Schools for School Trips etc.]
Offers Lake Biwa Experience Courses aimed at school trips, out of school learning, and integrated learning. All sorts of courses are available, including learning about the environment along the shores of Lake Biwa or experiencing water sports. Plans can be tailored to suit the requirements of each school. * Capacity for 20 - 300 participants.
[Use by Families and Friends]
A marine sports school that caters to all, even beginners. Skilled instructors lead you safely through a range of possible experiences, including canoes, SUPs and yachts.
- Friendship Adventures Water Sports Experience
- At Friendship Adventures you can enjoy leisure water sports throughout the year.
Particularly popular are the water sports on the Setagawa River during summer!
■Setagawa River Rafting: Shiga is excellently located for access from across the Kansai region, making this rafting course on the Setagawa River the perfect way to enjoy a thrill ride with family and friends!
■Water Tubing: The explosively popular number one attraction! A heart-stopping adventure that takes you over waves and between rocks! This is the only place in all of Kansai to experience it!
■River Bugging: A new river sport fresh from New Zealand. Having first arrived in Japan in 2012, this is still the only place in the entire country to experience it!
- Cherry Blossom Viewing in Shiga
- 【Ho Park】Early Apr. – Mid-Apr.
About 600 Someiyoshino blossoms burst into bloom around Nagahama Castle Historical Museum. It’s been designated one of the “100 best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan”. You can see a blanket of cherry blossoms from the castle tower. Cherry blossoms are lit up at night during the season. ※Depending on the degree of blooming.
Address：10-10 Koencho, Nagahama City
Access：5min walk from JR Biwako Line Nagahama Sta.
Contact：Nagahama City Planning Division TEL：0749-62-4111 FAX：0749-63-4111
【Kaizuosaki】Early Apr. – Mid-Apr.
Designated one of the “100 best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan”, about 800 Someiyoshino blossoms over 70 years old create a 4 km long cherry blossom tunnel at Kaizuosaki by Lake Biwa. It’s a well-known late blooming spot in the Kinki area.
Address：Kaizu, Makino-cho, Takashima City
Access：Take a Makino Community Bus (Makino Kogen Line) from the JR Makino sta. (JR Kosei Line) to Kaizuosaki-guchi. The spot is a 4 min. walk from the bus stop.
Contact：Biwako Takashima Tourist Association TEL：0740-33-7101 FAX：0740-33-7105 Email：firstname.lastname@example.org
【Miidera Temple(Onjoji Temple)・Lake Biwa Canal】Early Apr. – Mid-Apr.
Close to Mii-dera Temple and Lake Biwa Canal, it is one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Shiga. The trees are lit up at night in the beginning of April. The illuminated tunnel of cherry blossom is breathtaking.
Opening Hours：8:00～17:00（Lighting Up 18:30～21:30）
Entrance Fee for Mii-dera Temple：¥600
Address：246 Onjojicho, Otsu City
Access：10min. walk From Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line Miidera Sta.
Contact：Onjoji Temple TEL：077-522-2238 FAX：077-522-2221
【MIHO MUSEUM】Mid-Apr. – End of Apr.
About 80 weeping cherry trees are in full bloom along the pass between the Reception Pavilion and the Museum Building.
Address：300 Momodani Tashiro, Shigaraki-cho, Koka City
Access：Take a bus from the south exit of the JR Ishiyama station (Biwako Line), bound for MIHO MUSEUM, for about 50 min. (¥820).
Contact：MIHO MUSEUM TEL：0748-82-3411 FAX：0748-82-3414
- Recuperate in a Foot Bath!
- The Ogoto Onsen Sightseeing Park in Otsu City has a healing foot bath where you can wash away the exhaustion of your travels!
Foot baths allow you to enjoy some of the hot spring experience without having to strip all the way down! Rather than submerging your entire body, here you only bathe your feet and lower legs, meaning you're also far less likely to get dizzy after bathing. As you have large veins in your feet, it's also a great way to warm up your entire body! The water here has a pH of 9, making it very mellow and relaxing.
[Effective For] Nerve pain, muscle pain, joint pain, stiff shoulders, motor paralysis, bruises, chronic digestive disease, poor circulation, fatigue etc., also has skin beautification properties
Foot Bath, Ogoto Onsen Sightseeing Park, Otsu City
■Open：8:00 - 18:00
■Access：20 min. on foot from JR Ogoto Onsen Station
- Stay in Traditional Homes in Shiga
- There are probably many who don’t know of Shiga Prefecture, but in fact Otsu, the city where the Shiga Prefectural Office is located, is just two stations and 9 minutes from Kyoto Station.
Kyoto is so packed with tourists, and if you stay there and sightsee there, it may be difficult to achieve a true feeling of relaxation amid all the crowds of people.
If you want to see Kyoto, but are also looking for lodgings where you can really relax, why not stay in Shiga Prefecture?
Here’s an information-packed introduction to a selection of Shiga lodging facilities that have been created by refurbishing traditional homes.
Hotel Koo Otsuhyakucho
Lodgings created by refurbishing a number of old homes, and conveniently located close to JR Otsu Station. A nationally registered tangible cultural property. Stylish lodgings that fuse Japanese traditional culture with the modern.
Japanesque Villa Ichien
This is your chance to stay in a building that’s a nationally registered tangible cultural property. Take a relaxing break in a peaceful mountain village. Requires prior booking and only operates on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and during the spring and summer holiday periods.
A lodging facility created by refurbishing a house of around 100 years in the city of Omihachiman. The entire house is offered to just a single party at a time. You can watch the boats sailing the Hachiman Canals right from your window, and during the spring blossom season you can also enjoy the cherry blooming along the water.
Lodgings in an old-time traditional Japanese house with a striking thatched roof, as though you’ve slipped back into history. The owners will also provide meals, made with the best seasonal ingredients and delicious rice.
- Let the Strawberry Picking Start!
- Shiga is a treasure-trove of fruit-picking opportunities. The earliest strawberries can be harvested from around the start of January.
Roadside Station Aguri Park Ryuo
All you can eat for 30 minutes
Adults 1800yen, children 1600yen, infants 1400yen
Strawberry & Blueberry Farm Felice
All you can eat for 30 minutes
Adults 1600yen, children 1400yen, infants 1000 yen
All you can eat for 30 minutes
Adults 2000yen、Children 1600yen、Infants 1000yen
Rock Bay Garden
Entrance free：100g/350 yen
- Seasons Greetings from Inbound Tourism Department, Biwako Visitors Bureau
- Happy Holiday Seasons!
Wishing you peace, love, and joy this holiday season and throughout 2021.
Pray to end Covid-19 soon....
Visit our website : http://en.biwako-visitors.jp/
- Webinar “Reasons why Shiga and Lake Biwa should be your top travel destination post-COVID-19”
- The COVID-19 pandemic faced by the world in 2020 has left many people unable to enjoy travel overseas. Even those traveling domestically are showing a tendency to avoid activities that crowd people into smaller spaces, and the overall awareness of “travel” is starting to change.
Shiga Prefecture can be reached in just nine minutes by train from the popular tourist destination of Kyoto, and yet is rich in nature and open spaces. At the center of the prefecture there lies the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa, and the region offers ample opportunities for a relaxed and laid-back trip in the clean air and while avoiding any crowds.
We have now created a webinar introducing a relaxing stay in Shiga in a completely private lodging facility for just you and your family or friends, as well information on some of the activities the prefecture has to offer. Please check it out!
We are also currently accepting applications for familiarization trips for employees from travel companies or tour operators, social media influencers, and members of the media. If you wish to make such an application, please complete the form below and send it to email@example.com.
Reasons why Shiga and Lake Biwa should be your top travel destination post-COVID-19
go.biwako Official YouTube
- Dedicate a “Wish Daruma” doll on Chikubushima Island!
- Chikubushima Island is found on Lake Biwa. Here’s the way to dedicate a traditional “Wish Daruma” doll to the goddess Benzaiten, who is believed to free people from suffering and lead them into happiness.
(1) Write your wish along with your name on a special piece of paper.
(2) After finishing writing on the paper, roll it up into a tube shape.
(3) Insert the paper into the hole on the bottom of the daruma doll.
(4) Have someone from the shrine office seal the wish inside using a special sticker.
(5) Dedicate the doll in the main hall, pay a prayer fee of 500 yen, and you are finished!
Please note that you cannot take the Wish Daruma doll home with you. However, if you make an additional donation along with your 500 yen prayer fee, you can receive a non-retail “Wish Daruma strap” to take home.
Here’s hoping that your wish comes true!
- Experience the New Year’s Eve bells in Shiga
- A Buddhist ritual involving the ringing of the temple bell 108 times is an annual event which is performed on the New Year’s Eve, and there are numerous temples in Shiga too where the bells ring out during the middle of the night on December 31st. The following is an introduction to the temples were the public can also participate in the bell ringing.
Tickets to ring the bell are distributed from 21:30, given to those who purchase an auspicious arrow (\1000).
Gate opens at 00:00, and after the ringing by the monks the public may continue to ring the bell, in order of arrival, from 2:00. Stops at 108 rings. Admission to the temple is free for Jan 1 - 3.
The bell is rung from 23:45. \100 is required for sweet sake.
The bell is rung from 23:45, starting with the monks.
- The Nagahama Plum Tree Bonsai Exhibition
- In accordance with their blossoming, around 90 from among a total of 3 million trees are exhibited in a pure Japanese-style tatami mat room. The collection includes large trees reaching almost 3m tall and ancient trees said to be over 400 years old. Having started in 1952, making this the 67th event, this is both the largest in scale and longest in the history of plum bonsai exhibitions in Japan, and is loved as one of the traditions of spring in Shiga.
[Date]January 10 – March 10 2020
[Open]Open every day during the exhibition 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (final entry 4:30 p.m.)
[Entry fee] Adult 800yen, elementary or junior high student 400yen, 20% discount for groups of 20 or more
- Ski Slopes in Shiga
- <Biwako Valley>
A slope at the peak of a mountain at a height of 1,174m. Using the most advanced large carriage cable car in Japan, which opened in February 2008, you can reach the slope in just three and a half minutes. From there you can take in the stunning panorama of Lake Biwa while enjoying activities for everyone from beginners to experts.
Skiing and snowboard lessons can also be provided in English. Rates start from 3,000yen.
One of the largest snow resorts in the Kansai area, boasting superlative access. The high elevation offers the ultimate in deep, high-quality powder. There are also no less than twelve varied courses to choose from, catering to everyone from beginners to experts.
<Mt. Hakodateyama Ski Resort>
A stunning slope that lets you look out across all of Lake Biwa. The wide main slope with its array of varied courses caters to everyone from beginner to expert.